All stories by Clare Brennan on BroadwayStars

Saturday, October 19, 2019

I Have Met the Enemy (And the Enemy Is Us) review – not quite on target by Clare Brennan

Byker Community Centre, Newcastle upon TyneThe audience is invited to attend a mock UK arms fair in this laudable but underdeveloped production Travelling to Common Wealth and Northern Stage…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:48PM
Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Monstrous Heart review – grizzly mother-daughter reunion by Clare Brennan

Stephen Joseph theatre, ScarboroughOliver Emanuel’s Canadian log cabin drama goes nowhere slowly ’Tis a dark and snow-stormy night somewhere in Canada. After many years of separation, a …

Linked From The Guardian at 01:06AM
Sunday, October 6, 2019

The Last King of Scotland – morally flawed stage adaptation by Clare Brennan

Crucible, SheffieldBy rendering its hero completely passive, Steve Waters loses a key aspect of Giles Foden’s novelGiles Foden describes the narrator-hero of his 1998 multiple prize-winnin…

Linked From The Guardian at 01:33AM
Sunday, September 29, 2019

On Bear Ridge review – potent study of the places we leave behind by Clare Brennan

Sherman theatre, CardiffWriting, acting and design combine brilliantly in Ed Thomas’s new, semi-autobiographical playJohn Daniel (Rhys Ifans) fears that daily wearing of his only pair of t…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:54AM
Sunday, September 22, 2019

Reasons to Stay Alive review – hope beats the black dog by Clare Brennan

Crucible, SheffieldMatt Haig converses with his younger self in this engaging take on his memoir about depression The novelist Matt Haig wrote his award-wining, bestselling 2015 memoir about…

Linked From The Guardian at 02:42AM
Sunday, September 8, 2019

Two Trains Running review – a menacing tale of black oppression by Clare Brennan

Royal and Derngate, NorthamptonThis fine revival of August Wilson’s 1992 play finds seven people in 60s Pittsburgh struggling with a turbulent world Double Pulitzer prize-winning writer Au…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:42AM
Sunday, September 1, 2019

Season’s Greetings review – laugh-aloud ridiculousness by Clare Brennan

Stephen Joseph theatre, ScarboroughAlan Ayckbourn directs this excellent revival of his 1980 comedy of a family suffering a less than festive Christmas Playwright Alan Ayckbourn remembers a …

Linked From The Guardian at 09:36AM
Sunday, August 25, 2019

Lughnasa FrielFest review – art over troubled borders by Clare Brennan

Various venues, Derry and DonegalThe annual celebration of the work of Brian Friel carries powerful reminders of the work of building community “Politics are so obtrusive here.” The grea…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:36AM
Sunday, August 18, 2019

All Hands on Deck review – engaging narrowboat drama by Clare Brennan

Wharfhouse, Cropredy, OxfordshireMikron’s second world war show follows two female navy recruits as they battle the enemy and colleagues “Theatre anywhere for everyone, by canal, river a…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:33AM
Sunday, August 11, 2019

The week in theatre: The Secret River; La Reprise; 8 Hotels – review by Clare Brennan

King’s theatre; Lyceum, Edinburgh; Minerva, ChichesterEnglish settlers terrorise Indigenous Australians in an unflinching production from Sydney; the aftermath of a homophobic killing is e…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:42AM
Saturday, August 3, 2019

The week in theatre: Uncle Vanya; There Is a Light That Never Goes Out; Malory Towers – review by Clare Brennan

Theatre Royal Bath; Royal Exchange, Manchester; Passenger Shed, BristolRupert Everett’s astute direction of Chekhov results in a meeting of minds, and a luddite history is given a modern e…

Linked From The Guardian at 11:33AM
Sunday, July 28, 2019

The Children review – a toxic past refuses to remain buried by Clare Brennan

Theatre by the Lake, KeswickLucy Kirkwood’s domestic-seeming drama has the steely underpinning of a Greek tragedy A visitor arrives at a cottage by the sea – unexpected but not unknown. …

Linked From The Guardian at 08:48AM
Sunday, July 14, 2019

Life of Pi review – Martel’s tall tale brought to astonishing life by Clare Brennan

Crucible, SheffieldLolita Chakrabarti’s superbly acted adaptation of Yann Martel’s Booker-winner makes dazzling use of its interplay of illusions Everything about this production is amaz…

Linked From The Guardian at 07:06AM
Sunday, July 7, 2019

Wrestling the Walrus review – boldness and invention by Clare Brennan

Royal Exchange, ManchesterThe Hodgkiss award winner by 154 Collective finds complexity in a simple encounter between two people Wrestling the Walrus is the winner of the latest Hodgkiss awar…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:36AM
Sunday, June 30, 2019

Crooked Dances review – an unfinished fairytale by Clare Brennan

The Other Place, Stratford-upon-AvonRobin French’s new play mixes music, folklore and contemporary ideas to intriguing, if overlong effect Into a house in a forest go a boy and a girl. Wol…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:12AM
Sunday, June 23, 2019

Blithe Spirit review – Richard Eyre's skilfully crafted revival by Clare Brennan

Theatre Royal BathJennifer Saunders stars as Madame Arcati in this touching production of the Coward classic When Charles summons a psychic to perform a seance in his home so that he can obs…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:36AM
Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Pope review – crisis at the heart of Catholicism by Clare Brennan

Royal & Derngate, NorthamptonUnmissable performances save a creaky tale of differing approaches to God’s calling Anthony McCarten, the Oscar-nominated writer of the Freddie Mercury bio…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:36AM
Sunday, June 9, 2019

Pictures of Dorian Gray review – too many perspectives by Clare Brennan

Stephen Joseph theatre, ScarboroughA role-swapping, multiple-version adaptation of Wilde’s novel is too tricksy for its own goodWhy “pictures”? Just as in Oscar Wilde’s 1890 novel, t…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:54AM
Thursday, May 30, 2019

Cotton Fingers review – nuanced abortion drama by Clare Brennan

The MAC, BelfastWriter Rachel Trezise brings universality to the tale of a young Northern Irish woman travelling to Wales for a termination “Any separate status for Northern Ireland from t…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:42AM
Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Duchess (of Malfi) review – critique without context by Clare Brennan

Royal Lyceum, EdinburghZinnie Harris’s narrow reworking of Webster’s revenge tragedy fails to persuade Tom Piper’s design sets the keynote for the play: striking, efficient and almost …

Linked From The Guardian at 04:33AM
Sunday, May 19, 2019

Be My Baby review – poignant, powerful and still pertinent by Clare Brennan

Leeds PlayhouseA play set in 1964 about young mothers forced to give up their babies for adoption is as fresh as when first performed in 1998The action of Amanda Whittington’s bittersweet …

Linked From The Guardian at 04:03AM
Sunday, May 12, 2019

A Thousand Splendid Suns review – ultimately engaging Hosseini adaptation by Clare Brennan

Birmingham Rep, and touringThe Rep’s Roxana Silbert bows out with an inventive staging of Ursula Rani Sarma’s adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s 2007 novel “Every street of Kabul is ent…

Linked From The Guardian at 05:12AM
Sunday, May 5, 2019

Lost at Sea review – poignant tribute to Scottish fishing communities by Clare Brennan

Perth theatreMorna Young’s moving play about a journalist researching the life and death of her fisherman father is beautifully served by this fine production Towards the back of the prosc…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:33AM
Sunday, April 21, 2019

Amélie the Musical review – a rocking realisation of the film by Clare Brennan

Watermill theatre, NewburyClever staging and warm performances make this adaptation of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s film a visual treat Last week’s fire at Notre Dame prompted various reflectio…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:00AM
Sunday, April 14, 2019

Heart of Darkness review – challenging reconstruction of Conrad by Clare Brennan

Theatre Royal, YorkImitating the Dog interrogate their own staging of the controversial novella as well as its themesJoseph Conrad’s 1899 novella tells of the steamboat journey undertaken …

Linked From The Guardian at 03:00AM
Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Omission of the Family Coleman review – a family comedy with issues by Clare Brennan

Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal, BathPunchy characters, great pace, prizes… but something doesn’t work in this play about dysfunctional relatives Claudio Tolcachir’s award-winning play, …

Linked From The Guardian at 03:00AM
Sunday, March 31, 2019

Local Hero review – musical with a moral heart by Clare Brennan

Royal Lyceum theatre, EdinburghBill Forsyth’s adaptation of his 1983 film, with new music by Mark Knopfler, is topical all over again Bill Forsyth’s lighthearted story has a strong moral…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:00AM
Sunday, March 24, 2019

Edmond de Bergerac review – all the fun of the farce by Clare Brennan

Birmingham Repertory theatreA reimagining of the life of Cyrano de Bergerac writer Edmond Rostand is a whirl of can-cans and cavorting in its English-language premiere Panache! The word enca…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:00AM
Sunday, March 17, 2019

God of Chaos review – to delete or not to delete by Clare Brennan

Theatre Royal PlymouthPhil Porter’s new play about social media moderators is a bold attempt to address issues of online censorship but doesn’t quite click “Click the left arrow to del…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:00AM
Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Last Yankee review – Arthur Miller’s haunting delve into despair by Clare Brennan

Library theatre, BoltonMarital tensions and mental health are expertly explored in David Thacker’s production of Miller’s 1993 play Director David Thacker’s setting, as realised in Cia…

Linked From The Guardian at 04:00AM
Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Remains of the Day review – gorgeous but unsubtle by Clare Brennan

Royal & Derngate, NorthamptonNiamh Cusack and Stephen Boxer shine in a clunky adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Kazuo Ishiguro’s 1989 Booker prize-winning novel is narrated by Ste…

Linked From The Guardian at 03:00AM

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